|Publication number||US3908814 A|
|Publication date||Sep 30, 1975|
|Filing date||Aug 27, 1973|
|Priority date||Sep 6, 1972|
|Also published as||CA995263A, CA995263A1, DE2343659A1, DE2343659C2|
|Publication number||US 3908814 A, US 3908814A, US-A-3908814, US3908814 A, US3908814A|
|Original Assignee||Sphere Invest|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (16), Classifications (12)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Hieronymus 1 1 Sept. 30, 1975  METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR 3.312.326 4/1967 l-luppenthal [98/165 x HANDLING IRREGULAR OBJECTS 3,656,606 4/1972 Comstock et al.....
3,752,293 8/1973 Fort 198/30 [75 I Inventor: Wilhelm Hieronymus,
Peterborough Canada Primary ExaminerEvon C. Blunk  Assignec: S here I v t t Li it d, Assistant E.\'an1inerD0uglas D. Watts Nassau Bahama Attorney, Agent, or Firm'.lames A. Lamb  Filed: Aug. 27, 1973 Appl. No: 391,909
US. Cl. 198/34; 198/106; 198/160; 198/167 Int. Cl. 865G 47/22 Field of Search 198/34, 160, 165, 167, 198/106; 271/202 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1961 Hampton et al. 198/34 X 9/1966 Reading 198/167 X 5 7 ABSTRACT Apparatus for providing a feed of irregularly sized and shaped objects in a spaced arrangement has a sloping slide with longitudinal corrugations for accelerating the objects and guiding them into alignment in the corrugations. The slide discharges the rows of objects onto an accelerating belt which is moving at a speed which is greater than the speed of the objects discharged onto its surface, and a pinch roller of resilient material mounted above the accelerating belt. and moving at the same speed as the accelerating belt, presses the objects against the surface of the accelerating belt. The objects are discharged from the accelerating belt in a spaced and substantially stable arrangement.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Sept. 30,1975
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention is particularly adapted to the feeding of pieces or fragments of ore and will be described in connection with ore. However, it will be apparent that the invention is suitable for the feeding of other irregularly sized and shaped objects.
One of the most critical problems'in the sorting of ore is to arrange the pieces of ore in a suitably spaced manner. This is difficult to do because each piece of rock is unique in size and form and also the frictional characteristics of each piece of rock can vary.
There are a number of known devices for the handling and feeding of objects. In general the known devices are adapted to the handling and feeding of objects having a constant predetermined size and shape which does not vary from one object to the next. It is relatively easy to handle such regularly sized and shaped objects and to place them in any' desired arrangement. However, such known apparatus is not suitable for irregularly sized and shaped objects such as fragments of ore. The high speed, efficient sorting of ore requires each piece of ore to be separated from a neighbouring piece of ore by a certain minimum distance so that the detection of the physical'characteristics of each piece of ore is individually obtained and related to the particular piece of ore rather than to a group of such pieces. It is also necessary to have each piece of ore a certain distance from the neighbouring piece so that the piece of ore may be rejected or accepted as a single individual piece.
One well known type of prior art'feeding arrangement has been usedv in the handling of pieces of ore. This arrangement uses a surge-bin and vibrating feeder to provide an even rate of feed. Such vibrating feeders can provide a steady multi-layer feed that gives an adequate tonnage rate. However, the speed of movement of the discharged material is slow and, for example, could be of the order of 1' ft; per second. On the other hand, devices are known for detecting a required physical characteristic of pieces of rock moving at speeds as high as 30 ft. per second, and rejection devices are known for deflecting pieces of rock moving at speeds as high or higher than 30 ft. per second. If sorting apparatus is to use a vibrating type feeder, then it is desirable to use an accelerating stage to accelerate the pieces of rock to a higher speed and provide greater efficiency but keeping within the capabilities of subsequent stages. It is known to accelerate the output of a v vibrating feeder by having the feeder discharge the pieces of rock onto a smooth, hard, metal plate positioned at an appropriate angle to the vertical, This will not only accelerate the pieces of rock but will place them in a substantially single layer arrangement. It is also possible to align the pieces of rock laterally in one or more rows by having longitudinally extending corrugations in the metal plate.
Thus, it might be thought that the pieces of rock discharged from a vibrating type feeder onto a corrugated slide plate would not only be accelerated but would have a tendency to bunch together and the result is frequently a series of pieces of rock in contact with one another, followed by a gap, and then another series of contiguous pieces of rock.' Y
The present invention seeks to provide improved means for producing a longitudinal spacing between pieces of rock for moreefficient sorting.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION objects in a spaced arrangement, comprising means for providing an input of laterally spaced rowsof said objects moving at a-first predetermined speed,- an accelerating belt moving at a second predetermined speed greater than said first predetermined speed, means for directing said input of laterallly spaced rows of objects onto the surface of said accelerating belt, a pinch. roller of resilient material mounted above said accelerating belt at the region where said objects contact the belt for pressing said objects against the surface of said accelerating belt, said pinch roller having a peripheral speed equal to said second predetermined speed, said accelerating belt providing a discharge of said objects in a spaced arrangement.
BRIEF. DEscR PTIoN OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of apparatus according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a front'view, partly'in section, of the pinch roller used in one embodiment of the invention,
FIGS. 3 and 4 are.views of alternate embodiments of the roller and belt as they would be seen from A A in FIG. 1. 1'
DEscRIPTIoN OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referringnow to FIG. 1, a storage bin 10 for pieces of rock 1 l feeds a vibrating feeder l2 driven by a motor 14. ,The vibrating feeder l2 discharges pieces of rock onto a transition plate 15. Thetransition plate 15 pro= vides a gradual change of angle between the table or pan of the vibrating feeder and a main slide plate 16. For example, the table or. pan on the vibrating feeder may be at an angle of between 15 and 20 to the horizontal and the main slide plate 16 may be at an angle of between 35 and50 to the horizontal. These slopes are givenby way of example only, and circumstances could arise depending on frictional properties and other factors which require slopes in excess of the ranges givenabove. The transition plate 15 provides a versely. affecting the feed.
have adequate lateral and longitudinal separation. This has not been so in practice as the desired longitudinal spacing is not achieved. It appears that the sliding characteristics of the pieces of rock are not uniform and they slide at different rates. The slow and fast pieces The main slide plate 16 is conveniently in two portions an upper portion 17 and a generally corrugated lower portion 18. The transition plate 15 may be part of the upper portion 17 of the main slide plate 16. The upper portion 17 of the main slide plate 16 has a flat upper surface and serves to accelerate the pieces of rock as they move down its surface. The upper portion 17 allows the multi-layer feed from the vibrating feeder to spread out into a single layer so that the pieces of rock move unimpeded into the nearest trough or. de-
pression or channel in the lower portion 18. At the lower end of main slide plate 16 there is shown in FIG. 1 an entry plate 20. The entry plate 20 serves to feed the pieces of rock between the following belt and roller as will be described later. It provides a Hat discharge platform. lts length is not critical and in some embodiments it is not used. The transition plate 15, main slide plate 16 and entry plate 20 may be considered the accelerating slide section.
The surfaces of the transition plate 15 and the upper and lower portions of main slide plate 16 are preferably of very hard metal ground to a fine finish. The material, hardness, finish, weight, rigidity and slope of the accelerating slide section are important. The pieces of rock may be very abrasive and they must move down the slope, accelerating, and align themselves in the channels or troughs, without rolling, bouncing or grabbing. It has been found that one satisfactory structure comprises a heavy cast material of iron based, cobalt-nickel alloy (such as for example, is available under the trademark Deloro Alloy 50V). The material is very approximately one inch thick with a hardness of about 55 Rockwell C. The thickness and weight are significant in damping out any tendency of the pieces of rock to bounce and the hardness ensures the surface is not roughened or pitted by rock impact and abrasion. Similar metals and alloys would be suitable.
It will be apparent that material which is light or less abrasive than pieces of ore, would not require as heavy or as hard a slide plate. It has been found that certain plastics can be used to make slide plates for less abrasive objects or particles.
The profile or cross-sectional surface of lower portion 18 of slide plate 16 should be selected generally according to the size and shape of the average piece of rock. If the distance between the bottoms of adjacent channels or troughs is too small, (i.e. if the pitch is too small) the rocks will not center properly. If the pitch distance is too great there will be too much space wasted between channels or rows of rocks and the tonnage capacity will be decreased. The type of profile should also be selected according to the shape and size of the average piece of rock. The size and type of profile can be selected by trial for a given rock feed.
The slope of the accelerating slide section and the length of the lower portion 18 of the main slide plate are governed by the discharge velocity required and by the distance necessary for pieces of rock to settle into aligned rows. If the slope is made too steep the pieces of rock tend to snake or oscillate from side to side in a trough which has a shallow curved surface. If the slope is too small, a very long plate is required. For most surfaces, the limits of slope appear to be about 30 and 60 with perhaps 35 and 50 being practical limits for use with pieces of rock. The following table shows some slope distances and angles which are required to obtain a discharge speed of 10 feet per second for an assumed coefficient of friction of 0.325.
Table II shows the rock speed in feet per second which is achieved with the accelerating slide section at -35 and for two coefficients of friction (0.3 and 0.6).
Referring again to FIG. 1, rows of rocks are discharged from entry plate 20. The pieces of rock are aligned in rows and are in a stable configuration and travelling at a reasonably uniform speed. There is lateral spacing but many pieces of rock in a longitudinal row will be touching one another. At this point, the maximum tonnage rate would be achieved if all pieces of rock were lined up and just touching in a longitudinal direction. The entry plate 20 is adjusted with respect to an accelerating belt 21 so that the trajectory of the discharged pieces of rock just graze the upper surface of belt 21. The accelerating belt 21 is inclined at substantially the same angle as the main slide plate and entry plate. This is very desirable in order to avoid problems with rolling of the pieces of rock or with having the pieces of rock in an unstable orientation. The belt 21 runs on pulleys or rollers 22 and 23 and is driven by any suitable means (not shown). The belt 21 preferably has an outer or upper surface with a high coefficient of friction. The top run of belt 21 is preferably supported by a support plate 24 which has a low coefficient of friction. The support plate 24 eliminates belt flap and ensures a precise discharge trajectory from belt 21.
The speed of belt 21 is adjusted to give a required spacing. For example, if the pieces of rock discharged from entry plate 20 have a speed of 10 ft. per second, a belt speed of 20 ft. per second will produce on the average a longitudinal spacing between pieces of rock equal to the length of a piece of rock. Generally, in the sorting of ore exact spacing is not important. It is necessary only that there be a minimum spacing that can be handled by the sorting equipment.
A pinch roller 25 is positioned above the accelerating belt 21 and is driven by any suitable means (not shown) so that its peripheral speed matches the speed of the accelerating belt 21. The function of the pinch roller 25 is to press each piece of rock in turn into a firm, positive contact with the accelerating belt 21. This causes each piece of rock to be pulled away from the piece of rock immediately behind it. The pieces of rock are thus accelerated individually and longitudinal spacing is achieved.
The pinch roller 25 must have the correct peripheral speed, must be of suitable resilient construction, and must have a diameter appropriate to the size range of pieces of rock in the feed. The peripheral speed must be correct so that there is no tendency of the pieces of rock to roll. The construction and material must provide resiliancy so that the pinch roll will be able to conform fairly closely to the sizes and shapes of individual pieces of rock. The diameter must provide sufficient material and the material must have sufficient give so that the largest piece of rock can pass through, and on the other hand must be small enough so that only one piece of rock is pinched and accelerated at onetime. A large diameter roller prevents jamming while a small diameter provides clean acceleration taking only one piece of rock in any row at one time. In. addition, the gap between the pinch roller and the belt 21 must be narrow enough so that the thinnest rock in the size range being handled is pressed positively against the belt 21. 1
It has been found that if the size range is within limits commonly used in crushing and milling of ore, it is quite feasible to select a diameter of pinch roller which will not cause jamming and which accelerates pieces of rock in a row, individually. Table III gives some sizes of feed, with roller diameter (on a 1 inch shaft), and gap between pinch roller and belt, that have been found satisfactory.
It should be clearly understood that the primary function of pinch roller 25 is to apply pressure to the piece of rock in order to increase the frictional force between the piece of rock and the accelerating belt 21. The accelet'ating force is mainly supplied by the belt 21. The roller 25 follows through but is itself too flexible to apply any substantial accelerating force to the piece of rock.
As one example of a pinch roller 25, reference is made to FIG. 2. It has been found that a satisfactory pinch roller 25 can be made of discs 26 of the appropriate diameter mounted on a 1 inch shaft 27 which provides adequate structural strength. The discs 26 may be made from a material comprising a closed 'cell neoprene sponge 31, A inch thick, with a tough skin of neoprene 32 on both sides. The discs 26 are cemented together close to the shaft 27 as is indicated by the heavy line at 28 in FIG. 2. Towards the outer endthe discs 26 abut but they are free to flex and move independently. This flexing and resiliance has the desired effect of moulding (with almost a fluid like action) against the top surface of each piece of rock independently of laterally adjacent pieces of rock, and in addition it assists the resistance to cutting and abrading by sharp rocks because the pressure of the sponge isless than would be required for cutting. Washers 30 secured with respect to shaft 27 at each end of the pinch roller 25 serve to keep the discs 26 in position.
Pinch rollers of other construction and material have been tried, for example, rollers of solid sponge material with a hard flexible outer cover, and they are satisfactory for certain size ranges and materials. However the pinch roller constructed of flexible discs appears to provide greater resistance to abrasion and cutting, and is preferred.
Referring again to H6. 1, a guide belt 33 is positioned adjacent and following pinch roller 25. The guide belt 33 has a rear pulley or roller 34 adjacent to pinch roller 25, and a front pulley or roller 35 which is connected to a drive means (not shown). The belt 33 is driven at the same speed as belt 21. The rear pulley or roller 34 is conveniently made of discs of neoprene sponge, similar to the pinch roller 25 so that it is resilient. The guide belt 33 has a bottom run (i.e. facing belt 21) which travels in a path diverging gradually from belt 21 so that it is clear of all pieces of rock when it reaches pulley or roller 35. The guide belt 33 is of thin, flexible material.
The belt 33 is necessary because of a tendency for some pieces of rock, as they. are accelerated by belt 21 in conjunction with pinch roller 25, to acquire some velocity (normally a minor component) away from the accelerating belt 21. That is, an .upward flinging action affects some pieces of rock (perhaps because of greater frictional engagement with pinch roller 25 which imparts a tangential velocity to these pieces as they leave) and these pieces of rock lose contact with accelerating belt 21. This is undesirable for precise detection and rejection as the trajectory of these pieces of rock would not be predictable. 7
It will be seen that the pieces of rock which lose contact with accelerating belt 21 are pressed back against its surface by guide belt 33. The guide belt33 has a very light duty to perform and wear is negligible. The pulley or roller 34 must, however, be flexible to allow thick pieces of rock through without jamming.
The guide belt 33 serves another purpose. If a piece of rock should leave pinch roller 25 in an unstable orientation it would have a tendency to roll. This would be detrimental to the feed as the piece of rock could end up touching another piece of rock. The gradual diverging action of the upper belt 33 tends to prevent rapid rolling. A very slow rolling action is not significant because detection and rejection normally occur as soon as possible after the pieces of rock are discharged from belt 21. If the detection and rejection stages were 1 foot from the discharge endof belt 21, and if a typical speed of 20 feet per second is considered, the 1 foot of travel requires only 50 milliseconds, and a piece of rock would have to rotate about 5 revolutions per second (300 RPM) to be displaced 1 inch in that time.
It will be apparent that the apparatus of the invention could be arranged to operate-without the pinch roll 25 by moving rear pulley 34 upstream to the position occupied by the pinch roll in FIG. 1. Thus, the guide belt 33 on resilient pulley or roller 34 would apply the pressure to the pieces of rock for acceleration. This arrangement has been found to function with pieces of rock which are relatively uniform. in size, however it has been found to be unsatisfactory for the average rock feed. Apparently the beltcannot be made to conform to the shape of the individual rocks in the same manner as the pinch roller. Thick rocks tends to deflect the belt over too great an area and smaller rocks entering the gap widened by the thick rocks would not be subjected to the pressure required for acceleration.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, there are shown two examples of alternate embodiments. In these embodiments both the pinch roller and the accelerating belt are made with surface configurations which conform to the surface configuration or profile of the corrugated lower portion of the main slide plate. Previously it was explained the profile of the lower portion of the main slide plate should have corrugations or troughs or channels, chosen to provide adequate lateral separation with little obstruction or resistance. The corrugations may be smoothly undulating such as is shown by the surface of belt 21a in FIG. 3 or the corrugations or troughs may be placed closer together as is shown by the surface of belt 21b in FIG. 4. The profile may, of course, be selected to have a spacing between troughs anywhere in between the spacing of the troughs in FIGS. 3 and 4. In addition, the troughs need not necessarily be shallow curves, but they may be made deeper. The selection of a suitable profile for the lower portion of the main slide plate is made for a particular ore to provide a desired lateral separation and maintain a smooth even flow. This selection can be made by trial for a particular ore feed. The embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 4 have an accelerating belt 21a in FIG. 3 and 21b in FIG. 4 which has a surface or profile the same as the lower portion of the slide plate which provides the feed. The pinch roller 25a in FIG. 3 and 25b in FIG. 4 has a surface with a profile opposite to that of the respective belt 21a and 21b. That is, there is a substantially constant space between the pinch roller surface and the belt surface. The arrangement of FIGS. 3 and 4 may tend to maintain more precise lateral spacing, but requires belts of very special design. These embodiments may be useful when precise lateral spacing is required for some reason, however, the arrangement of FIGS. 1 and 2 provides adequate lateral spacing for a large majority of feeds.
It will be apparent that there are a number of other profiles suitable for the lower portion of the main slide plate, and if necessary the belt 21 can be made with the same profile. The pinch roller would, of course, have a surface profile which follows or mates with the belt profile.
In yet another embodiment two feeders are used which feed two main slide plates mounted one above the other. The lower slide plate includes an entry plate. The lower portions of the slide plateshave relatively widely spaced troughs for ease of channelling, but the troughs in the slide plate mounted on top are staggered from those in the slide plate mounted beneath. The slide plate mounted on top discharges its aligned rows of rocks onto the entry plate in between the aligned rows of rocks from the bottom slide plate. This provides a close lateral spacing on the entry plate for feeding between the pinch roller and accelerating belt.
The method and apparatus described provides for a feed of pieces of rock arranged in laterally spaced rows with a minimum longitudinal separation 'between pieces of rock in a row, discharged at a convenient speed. The feed is suitable for automatic sorting because there is a necessary lateral and longitudinal separation and the discharge velocity is precise, controllable and unvarying. The precision of trajectory and timing is very desirable for high speed sorting, especially for smaller particles at high tonnage rates where rejection must be exact.
1. Apparatus for providing a feed of irregularly sized and shaped objects in a spaced arrangement. comprismeans for providing an input of laterally spaced rows of said objects and including an entry plate for receiving said laterally spaced rows of said objects and discharging said objects at a first predetermined speed,
an accelerating belt moving at a second predetermined speed greater than said first predetermined speed,
said entry plate and accelerating belt being so positioned and arranged that said objects discharged from said entry platefollow a grazing trajectory onto said accelerating belt engaging said accelerating beltat a predetermined region,
a pinch roller of resilient material mounted above said accelerating belt at said predetermined region for pressing said objects against the surface of said accelerating belt,
said pinch roller being rotated with a peripheral speed equal to said second predetermined speed,
a guide belt mounted above said accelerating belt on rollers, one of said rollers being at one end of said guide belt adjacent said 'pinch roller and being of resilient material,
said guide belt moving at said second predetermined speed, i
the surface of said guide belt diverging from the surface of said accelerating belt towards the end of said guide belt away from said one end, the surface of said guide belt facing said accelerating belt towards said one end pressing back against said accelerating belt any of said objects tending to have a component of velocity away from the surface of said accelerating belt,
said accelerating belt providing a discharge of said objects in a spaced arrangement.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pinch roller comprises a shaft for mounting anddriving said roller,
a plurality of discs having centrally located holes for receiving saidshaft, said discs being positioned on said shaft in side by side abutting relationship, and said discs being of resilient material, and
means secured to said shaft for retaining said discs in position.
3. Apparatus for providing a feed of irregularly sized and shaped objects in a spaced arrangement, comprising an inclined slide plate having a portion provided with laterally spaced troughs for receiving at the upper end thereof a supply of said objects and aligning said objects in rows in said troughs, and
including means for discharging the laterally spaced rows of objects at a first predetermined speed,
an accelerating belt substantially aligned with and inclined by the same amount as said slide plate for receiving said laterally spaced rows of said objects, said accelerating'belthaving the same surface profile as said laterally spaced troughs in said slide plate, the troughs in said accelerating belt being i aligned with the troughs in said slide plate,
said accelerating belt moving at a second predetermined speed greater than said first predetermined speed,
a pinch roller of resilient material mounted above said accelerating belt at the region where said objects contact said accelerating belt for pressing said objects against the surface of said belt,
said pinch roller having a surface profile which provides a substantially constant spacingbetween the surface of said pinch roller and the surface of said accelerating belt in a lateral direction,
said pinch roller havinga-peripheral speed equal to said second predetermined speed, and
said accelerating belt providing a discharge of said objects in a spaced arrangement I 4. Apparatus for providing a feed of irregularly sized and shaped objects in a spaced arrangement, comprismg means for providing an input of laterally spaced rows of said objects and including an entry plate for receiving said laterally spaced rows of said objects and discharging said objects in a predetermined trajectory at a first predetermined speed,
an accelerating belt moving at a second predetermined speed greater than said first predetermined speed,
said entry plate and said accelerating belt being so positioned and arranged that said objects discharged from said entry plate in said predetermined trajectory make grazing engagement with said accelerating belt at a predetermined region thereof,
a pinch roller of resilient material mounted above said accelerating belt at said predetermined region for pressing said objects against the surface of said accelerating belt,
said pinch roller being rotated with a peripheral said accelerating belt providing a discharge of said objects in a spaced arrangement.
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|International Classification||B65G47/24, B07C5/00, B65G47/28, B65G47/31, B65G21/20, B07C5/02|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G21/2054, B65G47/31, B65G2207/14|
|European Classification||B65G47/31, B65G21/20D1|